Game after game is Rúben Amorim’s motto for Sporting. Every game the “Lions” have faced lately has been fraught with suffering and difficulty, and it has been a series of encounters in which everyone wants to be the first to win the leader. Tondela tried well but it hasn’t been because Sporting never lose focus on what they’re up to. It wasn’t nice, like there weren’t many other games in the league, but Rúben Amorim’s team won a 0-1 triumph at the limit that allowed them to at least keep the distance for the bereaved.
Sporting should already know what to expect from an opponent who appears in front of them, but they cannot handle it. And Tondela did what many teams had done before, canceled the “lions” in all their strengths and covered the rooms so that the quick transitions would not work. This strategy was decidedly defensive and was explained by Pako Ayestarán himself: Hold Sporting until the last 20 minutes and then try something.
It was a goal that was fully achieved in the first part. Tondela felt good and made Sporting uncomfortable. The “lions” had no place to run and the slow build strategy was useless as there was no place to start the quick transition. Nevertheless, there were goal balls in the first half that the league leaders could have used, both in the case of unqualified submissions from Tiago Tomás.
At 27 ‘, in a rare game in which Sporting could attack with discretion, João Mário reached areas near the goal, switching the flank to Nuno Mendes, who made the cross. Tiago Tomás managed to set up the shot but hit Ricardo Alves, who stood between striker “Leonino” and the Trigueira goal.
If Tomás could still complain about the Tondela defender failing to score after 43 minutes, it was not his own fault. On the right side, Nuno Santos, in combination with Pedro Porro and the Spaniard, made the perfect cross for striker “Leonino”, but the ball went over the top. It was the best that Sporting achieved in the first half with very little inspiration and a lot of defensive solidity from the home team getting their plan to the point.
The second part showed in the first few minutes that a Tondela was more confident in his ability to attack Adán’s goal with more pressure and provoke the mistake “Leonino” – Murillo and João Pedro showed the ability to create, but without any clear danger. And so the game went on, with the most exciting of the long minutes off the pitch at 55 ‘: the eviction of the everlasting hot head João Pereira from the bench.
Without changing strategy, Amorim decided to change the protagonists. Daniel Bragança stepped in and the team gained more ball circulation power. Then Jovane, Tabata and Matheus Reis stepped in to add more traction to the front and try to pierce an increasingly anchored opponent in defense of the point.
Aside from the fact that the opponents who play against Sporting should also know that it is never a good idea to leave the best at last, because it is at this point that the championship leader gives his all. And so it happened without Coates having to go into the area. In the 81st minute, Nuno Mendes put a ball into the box, Pedro Gonçalves dominated and passed it on to Tiago Tomás. With the aim of grace and without resistance, Tomás threw it in. And Sporting celebrated another win, the 19th in 23 league games.